Malawi’s South Africa-based boxer, Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba told his opponent ahead of Monday’s WBA Super, WBO and IBF world light-heavyweight titles fight that he has stumbled and fallen before in his career but he knows how to pick himself up.
According to www.boxingnewsonline.net the 29-year-old Chilemba (24-3-2-KO10), told a pre-fight press conference that Kovalev (29-0-1-KO26) should not expect an easy fight.
“In my life I have been through a lot of obstacles,” he is quoted as saying. “I stumble and fall and I know how to pick myself up. I have been through hell and made it back. Nothing can stop me.
“For the last 10 years of my career, I got into a few title fights. I won IBO Super Middleweight title. Since I moved to light heavyweight we have been chasing the WBC title. And we came up short three times.
“Now I have a shot at three world titles. I really believe God works in mysterious ways. This is my time. This is my destiny. I believe I was destined to be WBO, WBA and IBF World Champion.”
His oppoent Kovalev is also cautious and knows the Malawian is determined as he alluded to at the press conference.
“My opponent, Chilemba, is very motivated and that is why he is so dangerous. But I am also motivated. There are a lot of fights in my future.”
Ealier, Chilemba is quoted as saying he was angered that Kovalev showed some ‘disrespect’ by treating the bout like a formality after the Russian’s promoters already arranged a bout in November against former super-middleweight king Andre Ward.
Chilemba is reported to have told South African newspaper, Sowetan that: “Clearly they see me as a stepping stone and that’s total disrespect.
“They are looking past me when we have not fought, which means they see me as just a sparring partner. I am now going out there with more reason to beat this guy.
“I am going to teach him some manners and in the process make history by becoming the first African fighter to win three titles in one night.”
As of July 2016, Chilemba, the former IBO super-middleweight and WBC International light-heavyweight champion, is ranked by The Ring magazine as the world’s seventh best light-heavyweight.